As someone that spends a lot of time in the ocean and experienced a few bikini mishaps, I feel reasonably qualified to advise on swimwear. I buy swimwear that is practical, looks good and aims to be eco-friendly.
If you want to buy from a sustainable swimwear brand that’s environmentally conscious, firstly look at the material and how it’s been produced.
Swimwear is made from synthetic material (plastic oil-based) due to its properties. It can, however, be more eco-friendly if it’s recycled plastic from the ocean or produced from waste leftover in factories.
Where it’s produced is also something look out for, the further away it’s produced, the further it’s had to travel to get to you.
The brand’s messaging is also important, a great example is Salt Gypsy below which encourages renewable energy by actually contributing to energy projects in New South Wales.
Lastly, look for well-constructed swimwear that will last and you’ll treasure.
Camp Cove has the best designs and cuts of any swimwear brand I’ve ever seen or worn. I wear my two-piece surfing and so far, no embarrassing mishaps.
The Australian designed and made swimwear label combines retro and unique designs with comfort. The swimsuits are manufactured ethically on the South Coast of New South Wales and printed in Sydney.
All the pieces have recycled fabrics in the lining and each piece has been carefully constructed to last. Katherine Hampton, who grew up in Newcastle NSW, started the brand in 2013 and it has continued to grow in strength.
Starting out in Adelaide by Amy Roberts, this apparel brand produces beautiful basic pieces for everyday wear that will last.
The brand is focused on ethical production and eco-friendly materials. They manufacture 100% in Australia, working with local knitting mills and dye houses. They have committed to transparency and an ethical supply chain, hence why they are accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. The materials used are also organic and eco-friendly, whilst producing limited numbers to reduce waste.
The swimwear is reasonably priced, eco conscious and still look flattering. They are produced from recycled Nylon and chlorine resistant Lycra. There are also some pretty cool colours available (the green is amazing!).
On the website they have a full list of their factories and material manufacturing – check it out.
Based in Byron Bay, this awesome brand lives and breathes the female surf lifestyle. Developed by Australian ex-Billabong employee Danielle Clayton, the company aims to use regenerated fabric from ocean waste and offsets energy costs to support renewable energy projects in NSW (R-certified). The products are to be surfed in with internal elastic for anti-pull-down (massive bonus) and tailored fits to still look good.
The material that’s used is ECONYL, which is made from regenerated yarn from pre- and post- consumer waste including fishing nets in the ocean. ECONYL is an incredibly innovative process that can produce used material like it’s raw. To see more about the process, click here.
Did I also mention the styles were really fun and will make you want to surf twice as much?
Olivia is an eco-writer, producer, science graduate & ocean enthusiast. After moving from London to Sydney, she found her love for the outdoors and recycled textiles, which led her to start writing about science and sustainable fashion. Olivia is really passionate about brands using fashion for good and innovation in the industry. She now splits her time between several not-for-profit organisations in communication roles. Olivia is also a Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and sits on the Fashion Revolution committee for Australia & New Zealand.